1fixed-Price Contracts, Learning, and Outsourcing: Explaining the Continuous Growth of Output and Labour Productivity in the German Aircraft Industry During the Second World War

30 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2009

See all articles by Lutz Budrass

Lutz Budrass

University of Bochum

Jonas Scherner

University of Mannheim - Faculty of Law

Jochen Streb

University of Mannheim

Abstract

In this article it is claimed that, at least in the aircraft industry, the development of German armament production and productivity was much more continuous than Wagenf├╝hr's armament index and both the Blitzkrieg thesis and the inefficiency thesis suggest. In order to prove this new thesis of continuity, we show on the basis of firm-level data, firstly, that investment in production capacities had already started before the war and was especially high in the early phase of the war, and secondly, that the regulatory setting of aircraft production management was rather constant and was not dramatically changed after 1941. In addition, we demonstrate that the driving forces of productivity growth were primarily learning-by-doing and outsourcing, the latter being generally neglected by economic historians.

Suggested Citation

Budrass, Lutz and Scherner, Jonas and Streb, Jochen, 1fixed-Price Contracts, Learning, and Outsourcing: Explaining the Continuous Growth of Output and Labour Productivity in the German Aircraft Industry During the Second World War. The Economic History Review, Vol. 63, Issue 1, pp. 107-136, February 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1523447 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0289.2009.00471.x

Lutz Budrass (Contact Author)

University of Bochum ( email )

Ruhr University of Bochum
Faculty of Economics
D-44780 Bochum, DE 44780
Germany

Jonas Scherner

University of Mannheim - Faculty of Law ( email )

68131 Mannheim
Germany

Jochen Streb

University of Mannheim ( email )

L7, 3-5
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

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